Like selling refrigerators to eskimos

James Boyd talks yachting sponsorship and the Swedish Match Tour with Scott MacLeod, of sports marketeers Octagon
Eight Volvo campaigns at $15-30 million a pop, similar figures for many of the America's Cup campaigns then a great many more smaller sponsorships in the Global Challenge, the 60ft tri, Open 60 and French classes, the Swedish Match Tour - all told a great deal of corporate money is ending up in yachting and the man who would ideally like to have it all channelled through his coffers is Scott MacLeod (above), Senior Vice President International Sales and Marketing of Octagon Marketing. Alongside Mark McCormick's IMG, Octagon is one of the largest sports and event marketing companies in the world with 1,800 employees working out of 45 offices in 23 countries, including London. But what is unique about Octagon is that they have a specialist sailing division run by MacLeod. Remarkably for a company of this size Octagon is just four years old, part of Interpublic, the world's largest marketing and communications company (quoted on the NY stock exchange). Among their jobs is representing sportsmen and women such as tennis stars Llayton Hewitt and Anna Kournakova and cricketer Darren Gough. They handle the TV production and distribution for the World Superbike and British superbikes and Western Union rugby (whatever that is). They do event management - the Stella Artois Tennis in London is theirs and they also own Brands Hatch and the rights to the British Grand Prix. Alongside this is Octagon's sailing division. MacLeod can talking yachting with the best of them. He is an accomplished yachtsman in his own right, who today dabbles in the Farr 40 circuit in the States. Based in Connecticut, McLeod was on the Olympic campaign trail in a Finn during the 1980s, but "didn't make the big show" despite a third place in the Gold Cup and winning the North Americans.